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Witness Statement: Ali Kantoori

38. Another problem was the guards’ mistreatment of the prisoners. They counted us twice every day, and we had to sit in a kneeling position during the count. It took between twenty and forty minutes for the guards to count us.

Release and Trial

 

39. I was in Ghezel Hessar for three months and released in June 2008. While in there, I was taken to court. On that day, my bail was set at 150 million Tomans. I got released in June 2008 under bail.

40. After my release, I saw the judge five times. His name was Salavati. After five times, he transferred my case to Sanandaj4. In Sanandaj, my case went to the second branch of the Revolutionary Court and the 104th branch of the General Court. They had sent my case to the General Court so that they could claim I was an ordinary criminal.

41. The judge did not ask specific questions. He said, “These are what you have been charged with’ he read my charges and asked, “Do you agree with these charges?” I replied that I did not. Then he said, “Ok.” My case was not based on real allegations, so the judge couldn’t really say that much. It was more of a formality. In my trial, I denied the accusations, and I told them that if they claim I had done these things, then they should present their evidence and convict me. They needed me to agree to the charges, and I didn’t.

42. One of my trial sessions was on June 10, 2009, two days before the election. I was advocating for a boycott of the election. I think they arrested and detained me that day to stop me from my political activism. I was handcuffed and shackled all day in detention.

43. My next trial session was in the midst of post-election turmoil and arrests. There were only two days between my last two trial sessions. Those sessions took place in August 2009. I must say that at my trial sessions, I was wearing ordinary clothes because by that time, I was free on bail.

44. One week before my last trial, they took my brother hostage and threatened that they were going to hold him if I didn’t appear at my trial. Although I was in hiding for 10 days, I eventually went to my trial. My brother, Abolfazl Kantoori, was released on 30 million tomans bail, even though he was not charged with anything.

45. My attorneys were informed of my sentences after the election. The Second Branch of Sanandaj Revolutionary Court had sentenced me to thirty two months of imprisonment, which was later reduced to four months by the Appeals Court. The 104 Branch of Sanandaj General Court issued a sentence of 15 years imprisonment.

4 Saanadaj is the capital of the Kurdistan province in Iran. It is the second largest city in the west of Iran.

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Illegal Search and Seizure, Witness Statements